Escondido school district responds to ‘insensitive’ yearbook photos

ESCONDIDO, Calif. -- The Escondido Union High School District released a statement Tuesday responding to "insensitive" staff photos in a school yearbook.

San Pasqual High's 2018-2019 yearbook, "The Golden Legend," was released Monday to senior students, according to the district.

"It has come to our attention it contained photos from the World Language Department that are culturally insensitive and in poor judgment," the statement read.

The photos show six teachers wearing sombreros and ponchos while holding up false mustaches. The captions include "Senor" and "Senora" in front of the teachers' names. A seventh photo shows a teacher wearing gloves and a beret while peering over sunglasses. The caption includes "Madame" in front of her name.

The pictures were taken at the beginning of the school year to be used as teacher ID photos, according to the district.

"Principal Martin Casas and his administrative team are taking precautions to ensure a similar situation does not occur in the future," the statement continued.

"According to Principal Casas, 'San Pasqual High School takes pride in its rich history and diversity. It is our intent to use this situation as a tool to remind students, as well as staff, to remember the impacts of their words and actions,'" the statement read. "'We are committed to continuing our efforts to ensure all students, families and staff feel welcome and valued.'"

"Cultural appropriation is offensive, even if the intent is not to offend, and has no place in our school. We have a lot of work to do," Casas said in a tweet.

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